Posted on: May 16, 2021 Posted by: Betty Lee Comments: 0

SINGAPORE — For Fiona Loh, juggling advertising and marketing, accounts, customer support and product improvement is all in a day’s work.

The 28-year-old swapped computer systems for cookies final yr, when she give up her steady job as a know-how product supervisor for a financial institution to run her personal bakery enterprise, Whiskdom.

“Day by day I felt one thing nudging inside me: What if, what if, what if?” Loh informed CNBC.

And she or he’s not alone. Loh is one in every of a rising quantity of folks abandoning their 9-to-5 jobs to pursue their ardour after the pandemic disrupted conventional industries and careers.

Rise of the pandemic entrepreneur

I used to be working back-to-back between my day job and my night time hustle — 20 hours a day.

Fiona Loh

founder, Whiskdom

When Singapore’s lockdown final yr boosted urge for food for home-baked items, she noticed a possibility to give up the grind and take her Instagram facet hustle up a notch.

In July 2020, with the pandemic rife, Loh left her salaried job to take Whiskdom full-time.

“I used to be working back-to-back between my day job and my night time hustle — 20 hours a day,” she mentioned. “There got here at the present time the place I sat there and I could not assume. My thoughts was so fatigued … I simply felt I could not proceed.”

28-year-old Singaporean Fiona Loh give up her banking job through the pandemic to run her personal bakery enterprise.


By October, with demand surging for her molten brownies and levain-style cookies — and an 18-month waitlist to fulfil, the younger founder relocated operations from her mother and father’ residence to a business kitchen in central Singapore.

Stimulus opens the door for brand spanking new companies

Loh’s is a hit story in a yr wherein many industries, notably meals and beverage and retail, had been battered by the pandemic and resultant lockdowns.

However, in line with Xiu Ru Lim, enterprise lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic, the financial panorama by way of 2020 and 2021 has been accommodating for first-time enterprise homeowners.

The federal government grants … offered alternatives for small enterprise homeowners to have a look at beginning out.

Xiu Ru Lim

lecturer, Singapore Polytechnic

Digital funds and different applied sciences have lowered the limitations to entry for a lot of new enterprise homeowners.


Meantime, the speedy adoption of know-how through the interval has opened the marketplace for new companies, Lim famous.

“The competitors has levelled out somewhat bit,” she mentioned. “With the federal government grants and incentives that really encourage companies to go digital, this has offered alternatives for small enterprise homeowners to have a look at beginning out.”

New era of enterprise leaders

Enterprise possession can take an enormous private and monetary toll — and that is still a major barrier stopping many different would-be enterprise homeowners from realizing their objectives, nevertheless.

Loh, for her half, obtained a authorities grant for her ovens however she needed to fork out 50,000 Singapore {dollars} (round $37,500) in private financial savings to fund the challenge. That put her marriage ceremony and home-buying desires on maintain, she mentioned, including that she has but to match her earlier wage.

Once you go into entrepreneurship, you find yourself having to be every little thing … However, for myself, I actually take pleasure in doing it.

Fiona Loh

founder, Whiskdom

“If I actually wished the cash, I might have stayed in banking,” mentioned Loh, noting that she now attracts “a minimal sum” — sufficient to pay her each day dwelling prices and insurance coverage payments. The remainder of the earnings have been reinvested into the enterprise, hiring three full-time workers, together with her 62-year-old father.

As a brand new employer with a rising enterprise, Loh should now be much more cautious planning her enterprise for the longer term.

Estimates counsel that 20% of latest companies fail inside their first two years, and 45% inside 5 years — typically as a result of poor market information, increasing too shortly and lack of funds.

Nonetheless, the younger entrepreneur insisted she will not be clocking again into the workplace anytime quickly.

“Once you go into entrepreneurship, you find yourself having to be every little thing and you find yourself having to do every little thing by yourself,” mentioned Loh. “It’s totally completely different from being employed. However, for myself, I actually take pleasure in doing it.”

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